Friday 31 January, Shine a Light for Europe

While Nigel Farage was unaccountably celebrating Britain's transition from full partner in the European Union to an unrepresented vassal state, members of Brighton and Hove for Europe gathered at the Peace Statue on the Hove seafront to Shine a Light for Europe.


We were uncertain whether to mark this bizarre moment in our country's history, but it became clear that people in Brighton did want to gather, to give thanks for our partnerships in Europe, and to take care of each other on a very sad day. In the end about 500 people met, candles in hand, to show solidarity with each other, and with our European friends and family in Brighton and Hove.


We heard messages of support from MPs Peter Kyle and Caroline Lucas and from MEP Alex Phillips (the good one), and local councillor Tracey Hill expressed Brighton's continued support for EU27 citizens.


We were also very lucky to hear a beautiful rendition of Ode to Joy in German by singers from the Brighton Early Music Festival (this was a spine-tingling moment), before we all joined in song, ranging from Katrina and the Waves' Shine a Light to Auld Lang Syne.


BH4EU chair Susie Courtault said: "January 31st is a very sad day for all those of us who have been fighting for the last three years to stop the UK leaving the EU. We decided we would mark this historic moment by Shining a Light on everything we have achieved together and which we still hold dear: peace, equality, justice, democracy, partnership, scholarship. This light will be a symbol of hope for the future as we transition into a new phase of our relationship with the European Union. Whether we are able to rejoin in the future is not something any of us can know, but we do know we will continue to share our European culture and values. This will not change.


Brighton and Hove is an inclusive, tolerant and progressive city and we hereby commit to continuing to uphold the ideals and values of the European Union. We welcome refugees as a City of Sanctuary. We offer our EU27 citizens friendship and solidarity by bringing a yellow rose. And we will keep the flame alive."